Taking a good hard look at underdogs before placing a bet on any favorites is a good habit to adopt. Oftentimes the public’s adoration for favorites will skew the line in an underdog’s favor, and even though it is more difficult to place your hard-earned money on a “lesser” team, every week there are some valuable underdogs on the board.
If handicapping were as simple as just picking the better team, there wouldn’t be much skill to it. Even if you liked a team on the schedule going into the week, if you see a favorite that you know is laying too many points, it isn’t worth betting. And in some cases, it may even be worth going against your original lean and taking the underdog, if they are receiving enough points.
If you do decide to go with an underdog, as a general rule, it isn’t a bad idea to wait a little while to see if the line moves. If you expect the line will move against you, obviously grab it; but in many cases, favorite bettors will move the line to give the underdog an extra half or full point, which you can then grab.
The type of underdog you should be wary of is one that looks too easy. Keep in mind that the public loves favorites, but sometimes they see an underdog that they just can’t resist. Maybe it is a team that everyone was expecting to be a favorite that is instead receiving points, or maybe it is a game that looks like it should be close where the underdog is getting a large amount of points.
Sportsbooks don’t give money away. When the public loves a side, it loses more often than it wins, and that is because the sportsbook is enticing the public to take a certain side because they might lean towards the other side. This is more commonly the case with the public loving favorites, but it can happen with underdogs too; and when it does, you should either steer clear or consider a wager on the favorite.